Fredrik Dahl
Reuters
October 17, 2011

A U.S. push to isolate Iran looks unlikely to make Tehran back down over its nuclear program and other disputes, setting the scene for sharpening rhetoric and rising tension at a time when the two foes are preparing for elections.

U.S. President Barack Obama, seeking a second term next year, says the Islamic republic will face the harshest possible sanctions for an alleged plot to assassinate a Saudi diplomat in Washington and has not ruled out military action.

And the U.N. atomic agency is expected to publish intelligence data next month likely to strengthen suspicions that Iran may be working to develop nuclear bombs, providing the West with additional arguments to punish Tehran.

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